Central Prague Facing Flood Risk?

Inspections by local water authority lead to some startling conclusions about Prague’s flood prevention measures

Last week, iDnes.cz reported that an inspection of Prague’s flood prevention measures revealed some dangerous flaws that could lead to major threats to the city’s historic center. 

Yesterday, a follow-up article identified Old Town and Kampa as some of the areas in most danger of being affected by floods.

Prague’s flood prevention measures stretch for twenty kilometers down the Vltava. That includes seven kilometers of mobile barriers around the historic center, which are ready to be implemented along with sandbags and other measures.

But last week’s report, by local water authority TBD, cites “cracked and crumbling concrete,” poorly planted trees, and sunken pavement among the major threats to flood prevention in central Prague.

“Not removing these serious deficiencies can lead to the loss of structural stability and its protective nature when subjected to water pressure,” warns the report.

Locations potentially at risk include Masarykovo nábřeží and the Náplavka and Dvořáko embankments in the Old Town area, Kampa Island in Malá Strana, Holešovický přístav in Prague 7, and areas of Troja and Dejvice, which feature cracked concrete barriers along the riverside.

Historically, the Czech capital has seen numerous floods throughout the years.

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In June, 2013, areas of the city’s historic center faced flooding from extremely elevated water levels in the Vltava river, leading to school and public transportation closings and damages in the range of 2 billion CZK.

In August 2002, water engulfed much of the historic center and particularly the Karlín district in Prague 8 during some of the worst flooding the city has ever seen.

Water damage from those floods can still be seen on many unrenovated buildings throughout the area today, along with signs marking the water level

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